A 35-year-old Moline woman on Friday was found guilty in connection with the death of her disabled son.

In 2021, Moline Police arrested Jennifer Keim in connection with the 2020 death of her 15-year-old son. At first, she faced a first-degree murder charge. Now she has pleaded guilty to a charge of criminal abuse, which is a Class 2 felony, according to court records.

Keim, who was released on bond, has waived a jury trial. She will be sentenced Dec. 5 after a pre-sentence investigation, court records say. A Class 2 felony carries a sentence of three to seven years in prison.

The arrest in 2021

The Rock Island County State’s Attorney’s Office issued a warrant for Keim’s arrest after a four-month criminal investigation conducted by the Moline Police Department Criminal Investigation Division Juvenile Unit, a news release from Moline Police says.

On Nov. 3, 2020, a local hospital contacted Moline Police after a severely disabled 15-year-old boy was transported to the hospital for emergency care by Moline firefighters from the family home in the 1600 block of 25th Avenue.

Hospital staff found the child to be “extremely dehydrated and emaciated, with severe open wounds that had not been properly treated.”

The child went into cardiopulmonary arrest and later was pronounced deceased at the
hospital.

The Rock Island County Coroner’s Office, Moline Police Department and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services began an investigation that included numerous interviews, consultations with medical professionals and an in-depth examination of the child’s medical records and past medical treatment.

The inquiries revealed a “consistent pattern of medical and physical neglect, which led to the child’s death,” the release says. The autopsy ruled the child’s manner of death to be complications from chronic malnutrition and dehydration because of underlying physical neglect.

Assisting Moline Police in the investigation were the Rock Island County Coroner’s Office, the Rock Island County State’s Attorney’s Office, and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.